With Malice by Eileen Cook
Published on June 7, 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Genres Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
With Malice focuses on the main character of Jill Charon, who wakes up in the hospital and cannot remember the last six weeks of her life, including a car accident that occurred, killing her best friend. When Jill wakes up in the hospital, she has a badly broken leg, broken legs and is suffering from trauma to her brain, resulting in a loss of memory. Not only of the accident that landed her in the hospital, but of her entire trip to Italy and back 6 whole weeks. Jill learns that her affluent father quickly had her airlifted back to the United States immediately after the accident, which starts raising suspicions about whether or not the accident, really was an accident. As evidence come to light even Jill starts to wonder whether the accident, was in fact an accident, or something else entirely.
I don’t want to classify this book as historical fiction, but it is fairly obvious that it is based around the Amanda Knox trial. Jill wakes up without any memories and starts trying to piece together what really happened. All she remembers is that her relationship with her best friend with Simone was always great and full of love, which is why the thoughts that the accident might have been intentional seem completely illogical to her. When Jill is moved from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility, she becomes roommates with Anna, who tries to help her piece some of the story back together. While in rehab, she works with a parapsychologist who warns her that even if her memories return, they might not be actual memories.
While Jill scours through social media and blog postings, trying to find the missing pieces, she begins learning exactly what was happening while she and Simone were in Italy. And when she starts having dreams and flashes of what she thinks are memories, she works even harder to figure out what happened. But are they real memories or images that have occurred from the media is saying? During this whole story, the Italian police are convinced that a crime has been committed and that Jill is at fault. They do their best to try to not only prosecute her, but extradite her back to Italy.
Although, this book is based on an entirely different story, I had a hard time not comparing it to one of my all time favorite books, Dangerous Girls by Abigail Hass. I got the same sort of feeling from this book as I did from Dangerous Girls, with one exception. Dangerous Girls is more focused on the obsessive nature of the relationship between the two female teenage main characters and With Malice while somewhat focused on Jill and Simone’s relationship, is much more focused on the different between real and fake memories and the truth. This story is told from Jill’s point of view and has chapters in between that consist of blog posts and news coverage of the story. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it for fans of the young adult thriller genre. I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. This book is set to be released on June 7, 2016 so mark your calendars or pre-order it today. Happy Reading!